How do we prepare students to become leaders of the 21st Century!

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Our world is rapidly changing. How can we help our children keep up?

21st century skills are the new building blocks for learning. Our children will need to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive world, and at the same time be able to collaborate with others. Creativity and innovation will be highly prized for solving challenges.

So how do we prepare our children for the jobs of the future?

What new skills will they need?

Our children will have to be equipped with a mixed skill set encompassing traditional academics, life skills such as collaboration, problem solving, creativity, and career skills such as innovation, technology, and global awareness.

While schools are beginning to make the shift toward 21st century standards, there’s a lot that you can do as a parent to foster these skills at home. It is always better to provide a good foundation at an early age.

Try these ideas as starters for supporting your child’s success.

  1. When children play together, offer them a collective set of play materials to encourage sharing, turn-taking, and social skills.
  2. Encourage out-of-the-box thinking by asking your child to come up with one or two new rules to a familiar game. This helps kids learn to evaluate their ideas, and solve problems in a group.
  3. Invite your child to help you solve common household problems by engineering new solutions. How can you get the back door not to stick? What’s a tidier way to bathe your new pooch?
  4. Encourage your child to participate in family decisions and problem solving, and then praise your child’s efforts to reason through different situations. If they seem hesitant, brainstorm together. Once your child understands that all ideas are welcome, they will feel more confident.

Together we shall prepare our kids to be the leaders of 21st Century!

Why should one value his/her own values?

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Personal values are the essence of who we are. They represent the core aspects of our self.

We all have little nuances that make us who we are. Discovering your personal values involves discovering what you’re passionate about and finding what’s really important to you. The more we understand ourselves, the more self-aware we become, and the easier it is to live a successful life.

In reality, most people coast through life without any consideration for what is truly important to them. If you’ve ever felt really frustrated or angry about something, it’s likely you were experiencing a ‘values conflict’. Sometimes – just understanding why we feel frustrated, can help us move forward.

A values conflict is often common among family members. For example, as a child, you may end up picking your parents values instead of your own. You may be pushed into becoming a lawyer by your father because he may have secretly wanted to be one. Law may have been important to your father,  but it doesn’t mean it is to you. And you can never be happy when caught in the middle of a values conflict.

If you take the time to identify your values they will become your own personal framework for a successful life. Because, once you know what’s important to you, you’ll never waste another second on things that don’t matter.

 As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny."

So here’s an exercise to help you discover your own values. Just grab a notebook. Give yourself quiet space, no distractions, and at least an hour to reflect on what your core values are.

 

Role of Value Education in Reinforcing Moral and Social Values

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“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” – CS Lewis

As the 21st century children seem to be smarter than ever, the importance of a value-based education has become a necessity like never-before. Technology has crept into Education and has opened infinite windows to information. The young minds are now exposed to the ocean of thoughts and ideas, without boundaries. In the light of this exposure, educating children on their values have become the need of the hour.

Values are invaluable Assets

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A young boy once asked his teacher, “Teacher, which career path should I choose when I grow up and where I don’t have to compete with anyone?” The teacher smiled and replied “My dear, choose to become a great human being, and this is the only path where is there is no competition, but there is co-operation, compassion and contentment”.

Well, this is absolutely true; in today’s world success is measured in terms of name, fame or money one has earned in his/her life rather than the values one has inculcated. It is the values that make a human, a society or a country great. I would like to share two incidents which depict how the values within us make this world so wonderful.
Once a chirpy, cheerful child returned home after playing and started narrating to her mother how her team won two throw ball matches. The mother however didn’t pay much attention at the beginning as the child had such stories to narrate almost every day! But the child was highly delighted to share her success story. “Do you know mamma, I played two matches, in the first match, my team had members who kind of knew how to play throw ball, and the opponent team had members who didn’t know how to play, except for the captain. The mother reluctantly said, “What is so great in that, it is obvious that your team has won because you had experts in your team”.
The child replied “wait mamma, let me complete, the opponent captain got angry and said I won because I had a good team, and she told me to exchange the team members. I said fine and we exchanged the members. Now I was leading a team which is new to the game”. Now the mother was curious to know the outcome of the game and asked, “So, did you lose this time”? The child with her sparkling eyes proudly said, “No, we won this time too. Want to know how?” The child continued “Every time the ball came near my team members, I screamed, “catch it, you can do it, you are the best!”. They got inspired by my words and were able to play nicely”. The mother said “that’s interesting, didn’t your opponent captain do that?” The child replied “ No, whenever the ball came near her team members, she shouted “leave, you can’t do it, let me handle”, eventually no one was able to catch the ball, they just dashed each other and the ball was on the ground, She simply didn’t trust her team in both the matches”.
Now it was mother’s turn to feel proud. She kept on musing “when did my child learn these values like trust, teamwork etc.”
A few days later, the mother was browsing through the Facebook pages, and saw a post on one of her child’s teachers in the school’s Facebook page. The child too joined the mother to read about her favourite teacher. After reading, the mother started writing a comment on the post, “you are the best teacher, and I wish all teacher were like you” The child immediately stopped her mother from hitting the post button and said “Mamma, please edit your comments, and please delete the 2nd part of the comment, it gives a feeling that we don’t like other teachers. I love all my teachers and all teachers love me. My teachers never judge me, then why should I judge them”.
The mother was surprised how an eleven year child can think in such a matured manner.
In both the above incidents, the child has exhibited the values deep rooted within her. I am so happy to share that the child is a student of Samsidh MLZS and she is my daughter. We owe a lot to the school for inculcating such priceless values in our children.
We as parents, focus a lot on the marks/grades obtained, awards and accolades won by our children, but pay less attention to the mind-set with which our children are growing. Our children need to develop a co-operative attitude rather than a competitive mind-set. It is better to win over others rather than defeat others. The values such as honesty, humility, compassion and love for the world around make a person happy, guilt free and successful in the journey of life. The happy and contented people in turn make a happy society, and a peaceful world. What can be more valuable than happiness and peace of mind?
It is time we value the values, for they are invaluable assets.

Usha Ramesh
Mother of Shruti Hegde (Grade 6)
MLZS, HSR Branch

What values do festivals teach us?

India is a vast country where the landscape – along with language and customs – changes every few kilometers. We are the most diverse country in the world by far!

Festivals are an integral part of a country: There is not a single community, or country in the world that does not celebrate some festival associated with seasons, religion or a day that holds special significance to the people of that country.

In India, we celebrate Diwali, Ramzan, Christmas, Guru Poornima (and many others) which have their origins in religion, while Bihu, Pongal and Sankranti are about celebrating nature.

There has been a welcome trend in our country in recent times that can go a long way in further strengthening relationship between different communities. We now celebrate most festivals which were earlier considered as being specific to a community cutting across divisions – religious, ethnic and linguistic. This is unsurprising and is consistent with our national ethos.

Are you surprised at the emerging trend? If you are not, it is clear the thought never crossed your mind. It is also possible that you did not think it was worth looking for differences when finding similarities with fellow human beings made more sense to you. It reaffirmed your belief that all festivals are a celebration of Unity – the oneness of mankind.

We are born equal and we must live as equals. We have no adversaries but in disease, poverty, and illiteracy and we must be united in our fight against them.

The world belongs to all of us, but so does the responsibility of keeping it the way our forefathers found it many moons ago.

We should strive to leave the world in a better shape for our future generations. Harvest festivals across the world are celebrated with this specific purpose in mind. Our ancestors realized that Nature is the supreme force that rewards us for our good deeds, and punishes us for the bad ones.

Festivals are celebrated with another purpose in mind; to reaffirm our commitment to our family, friends and the community we live in. It is also a happy occasion for making new pledges.

Finally, conservation of nature and promotion of unity among the inhabitants of our planet should be our top priority and festivals help us achieve both the objectives in a fun way.

Value Education and Parenting - Importance of Inculcating Right Values in Children

We often find ourselves vulnerable to enticements and temptations. The true test of our integrity is dependent on how our core set of values inculcated by our parents and nurtured by our teachers can withstand the challenges posed by our environment.

For example, most of us are law-abiding citizens. But, many of us will admit to driving down a one-way street in a moment of weakness only to end up running into a police officer.

Oh, the ignominy!

Moral of the story is, our core set of values are non-negotiable and we must remain true to ourselves regardless of the circumstances.

Our education begins from the day we are born. We continue to learn all our life, with parents and educators sharing the great responsibility of shaping our future.

The world around us is changing rapidly with the advancement in technology and we must adapt ourselves to our new environment. However, it is equally important to preserve our core value system. Teachers and parents need to work together to shape the youth of today into responsible citizens of tomorrow.

Incorporating value education in schools and greater involvement from parents could provide the answers to the issues like social alienation and antisocial behaviour faced by our society.

School environment is ideal for developing traits like growth mindset in children. Let's see what other values children can develop in school with the help of their teachers:

  • Creativity: Encouraging children to be creative boosts their sense of self-worth.

 

  • Collaboration: Teamwork is the ability to work across barriers and is a highly valued quality in the 21st century work culture.

 

  • Growth mindset: A ‘fixed’ mindset makes children believe their talent is a fixed trait, whereas a growth mindset encourages them to further develop that talent.

Home environment provides a natural space for parents to inculcate values like compassion in children. Let's see how it can benefit a child's growth:

  • Family Values: Spending more time with children is a great way to teach them the importance of family life.
  • Compassion: Teaching children to have concern for all living things goes a long way in making the world a better place.
  • Sharing: Teaching children the joy of sharing with the less fortunate is a great way to get them to place others’ interests before their own.

 

Finally, children may not always be forthcoming with their problems. For this reason, it is important to create a support system based on value education and responsible parenting to help them deal effectively with their anxieties and concerns.